One of the best parts about road tripping is finding new places to fall in love with. So much of the United States is stretches of chain stores, which gets monotonous. I get excited when I stumble across somewhere that doesn’t look like everywhere else, which is exactly why I LOVED Hot Springs, Arkansas. As I mentioned before, I had never been to Arkansas though Hot Springs has been on my “Must Visit” list for years.
I had the opportunity to stay at The Austin Hotel* in downtown Hot Springs. Located walking distance from the historic bathhouses and restaurants, The Austin is the perfect place for a quiet retreat. It was a nice alternative from the typical chain hotel. It had great views of Ozarks and felt really calming. Ommmmm….! They even have a spa.
Hot Springs is most well known for its “Bathhouse Row” where people used to come from around the country to detox and get well. As a modern person, the experience of walking through the Fordyce Bathhouse was truly like teleporting. The Fordyce Bathhouse is now a National Park that’s free and open to the public. I spent a good two hours there wondering around looking at all the stained glass, marble and spa equipment from the 1920s.
There’s still one working bathhouse in Hot Springs, which gives visitors a taste from the past. Hot Springs isn’t just about spas and bathhouses, however. It has its very own Gangster Museum of America, which is great for the history buffs out there. The town also has its fair share of restaurants and shopping, making it a good place to go for a mini retreat.
And yes, if Starbucks is required, there’s even one of those a few miles from the downtown.
More Photos from Hot Springs
*I received a one night free stay at The Austin. I am not being paid to write about the hotel.